Already seven days on the road. I've walked on six of those days, having otherwise kept to my schedule. Today's walk was supposed to be 14.2 miles, according to Naver, but my pedometer said it was 18.23 miles. It also said I walked 391 minutes, for 37,062 steps, burning a gross of 3055 calories (i.e., more like 2400 calories net).
Instead of fasting as planned, I took the yeogwan ajeossi's recommendation and ate at a next-door restaurant specializing in meat. I got the bulgogi, which was good but expensive. After eating, I hand-washed my clothes, showered, soaked in the bath, then napped a bit.
I'm kicking myself for losing two of my travel companions: my bottle of psyllium-fiber tablets and my container of disinfectant wipes. I must have left them at Jangsu Pension. Replacing the wipes was easy enough: I had only to duck into a convenience store. But Koreans don't believe in fiber tablets; Metamucil is unknown to them, making it devilishly hard to find. I order off-brand psyllium through iHerb.com, and I know that Gwangjang Market sells knockoff Metamucil; aside from those two sources, I don't know where else I'd buy the stuff. Not that it matters: I eat so little these days that pooping, once a major part of my day, has become more like an afterthought. (Returning to civilization ought to be interesting.)
Thanks to yet more gorgeous weather, the walk went fairly smoothly. No incipient charley horses today-- just the usual aches. When I looked at my feet this afternoon, I saw that my blood-and-lymph blister was unchanged from the day before, which is a good sign. Lately, my days have begun painlessly, with pain appearing only once I start taking increasingly frequent breaks.
My left foot remains un-blistered, but I sense it's getting closer to forming a blister of its own, almost as if it feels I deserve a matching set.
Along with the usual complement of barking and snarling farm dogs, I saw plenty of brazen people illegally driving their small cars along the bike paths, completely unworried about being caught by police. Ah, Korea: Land of the Law Ignored.
Tomorrow begins my Saejae tribulations. The path is 100 kilometers long, and I've divided this segment into four uneven days. Day 1 actually looks easier than expected: fairly flat, with few challenges because the path follows what appears to be a watercourse of some kind, even if it isn't a major river. The watercourse is in its own valley, which accounts for the relative flatness of the path. I haven't looked at Days 2 through 4 yet, but at least one of those days is going to be hell.
Tomorrow's route is supposed to be a little over 15 miles long. Day 2's segment is supposed to be about 10.9 miles long-- possibly even shorter if I opt for a yeogwan instead of camping. Depending on what I do for Day 2, Day 3 will be either 14 or 17 miles long. That's most likely going to be the worst day. Day 4 is nearly 20 miles long, but (1) it ought to be mostly downhill, and (2) I'll be staying two nights at a yeogwan when I'm done.
After Saejae, it's theoretically smooth sailing for the rest of the walk, as I'll be following the Nakdong River. This is the longest section of my walk, but there are no intervening mountain ranges, so I'm not expecting much trouble, except for some hills.
I planned on doing this walk in 21 legs. Two more legs from now, I'll be a third of the way through this walk. Hard to believe. My backpack does feel lighter now that the MREs are gone, and my feet are toughening up, however achy they might be at the end of the day.
More challenges tomorrow. Let's do this.
ADDENDUM: for the fourth time in a row, I was placed in a room at the end of the hall. Uncanny.
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